Integrating Building Automation System and Data Center Infrastructure Management System for Sustainable Data Centers

In recent years, the demand for data centers has skyrocketed as more and more businesses and individuals rely on digital technologies to store, process, and access data. However, the energy consumption of data centers has also increased, making them a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Many data center operators are turning to innovative technologies and practices to improve energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint to address this. One such approach is integrating a Building Automation System (BAS) with a Data Center Infrastructure Management System (DCIM).

A BAS is a centralized control system that manages and controls the environmental conditions of a building, including heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, and security. By monitoring and adjusting the building's systems in real time, the BAS can improve energy efficiency, reduce waste, and improve occupant comfort and safety. Conversely, a DCIM provides centralized management and monitoring of a data center's IT and physical infrastructure, including power and cooling systems, server utilization, capacity planning, and environmental conditions.

Some Benefits of Integrating a BAS with a DCIM

Improved energy efficiency

By integrating a BAS with a DCIM, data center operators can monitor and control the energy usage of both the IT equipment and the building infrastructure. This allows for more efficient use of resources, reducing energy waste and lowering operating costs.

Real-time monitoring and reporting

BAS and DCIM systems provide real-time monitoring and reporting of various data center parameters, including temperature, humidity, power usage, and energy efficiency. This allows operators to identify and address any issues quickly, ensuring optimal performance and reliability.

Predictive maintenance

By analyzing data from the BAS and DCIM, operators can identify patterns and trends that may indicate potential equipment failures or other issues. This enables proactive maintenance and repairs, reducing downtime and extending equipment lifetimes.

Improved sustainability

Integrating a BAS with a DCIM can help data centers reduce their carbon footprint and support sustainability initiatives. By optimizing energy efficiency and reducing waste, data centers can operate sustainably and contribute to a cleaner, greener future.

To illustrate the benefits of integrating a BAS with a DCIM, let's consider a hypothetical example. Suppose a data center operator integrates a BAS with a DCIM and implements several energy-efficient measures, such as using free cooling when possible, optimizing HVAC settings, and consolidating servers. After several months of monitoring and analysis, the operator discovers that the data center's DCiE has improved from 0.6 to 0.8, indicating a significant increase in energy efficiency. Additionally, the operator identifies areas for further improvements, such as upgrading equipment and implementing more advanced energy management techniques. By continually monitoring and optimizing the data center's energy usage, the operator can continue to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and support sustainability goals.

Conclusion

integrating a Building Automation System (BAS) with a Data Center Infrastructure Management System (DCIM) can provide significant benefits for data center operators, including improved energy efficiency, real-time monitoring and reporting, predictive maintenance, and sustainability. By leveraging the power of these innovative technologies, data centers can operate more efficiently, reduce their carbon footprint, and contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Additional Resources

Data Center Sustainability Compliance Reporting | Sustainable Data Center

Case Study: Sandia National Laboratories’ Holistic Data Center Design Integrates Energy and Water Efficiency, Flexibility, and Resilience case study

Streamlining Data Center Management: The Benefits of Integrated Data Center Management (IDCM) – AutomatedBuildings.com

Standard 90.4: Energy Standard For Data Centers, February 2023 ASHRAE Journal

Introduction to Integrated Data Center Management (IDCM) – YouTube

Integrated Data Center Management | Nlyte

Integrated Data Center Management | Automated Logic

Data Centers | Carrier Commercial Systems

Data Center Solutions Brochure | Carrier Commercial Systems

Definitions

BAS stands for Building Automation System. It is a centralized control system that manages and controls the environmental conditions of a building, including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, and security. The BAS uses sensors, actuators, and controllers to automate and optimize the building’s systems, ensuring that they operate at peak efficiency and in a coordinated manner. By monitoring and adjusting the building’s systems in real-time, the BAS can improve energy efficiency, reduce waste, and improve occupant comfort and safety. BAS can be used in a variety of buildings, including commercial, industrial, and residential structures.

DCIM stands for Data Center Infrastructure Management. The software solution provides centralized management and monitoring of a data center’s IT and physical infrastructure. DCIM allows data center operators to monitor, analyze, and manage various aspects of the infrastructure, including power and cooling systems, server utilization, capacity planning, and environmental conditions. DCIM provides a holistic view of the data center’s performance and helps operators make informed decisions on optimizing energy efficiency, reducing waste, and ensuring business continuity. The software typically includes real-time monitoring, reporting, and analysis tools and automation and integration capabilities with other data center systems. DCIM is an essential tool for managing modern data centers that are becoming increasingly complex and demanding regarding energy efficiency, reliability, and sustainability.

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. It refers to the systems used to control and regulate indoor environments’ temperature, humidity, and air quality, such as buildings, homes, and vehicles. HVAC systems typically have several components, including heating and cooling units, air ducts, air filters, and thermostats. These systems work together to maintain comfortable and healthy indoor conditions by heating or cooling the air and circulating it throughout the building. Properly functioning HVAC systems are essential for maintaining indoor air quality, preventing the spread of airborne pollutants, and ensuring occupant comfort and safety.

DCiE stands for Data Center infrastructure Efficiency. It is a metric used to measure the energy efficiency of a data center. DCiE is calculated by dividing the IT equipment power consumption by the total power consumption of the data center, including cooling, lighting, and other support systems. The resulting number represents the percentage of energy that is used by the IT equipment compared to the total energy consumed by the data center. The higher the DCiE, the more energy-efficient the data center is. DCiE is a helpful metric for data center operators to track and optimize their energy usage, reduce costs, and improve sustainability.

An example of how to calculate DCiE:

Suppose you have a data center with a total power consumption of 1000 kW, and the IT equipment power consumption is 600 kW.

DCiE = IT equipment power consumption / Total power consumption

DCiE = 600 kW / 1000 kW

DCiE = 0.6 or 60%

In this example, the DCiE of the data center is 60%, which means that the IT equipment uses 60% of the energy consumed by the data center, and the remaining 40% is consumed by cooling, lighting, and other support systems. By tracking and optimizing DCiE, data center operators can identify areas for improvement and implement energy-efficient solutions to reduce costs and improve sustainability.

PUE stands for Power Usage Effectiveness. It is a metric used to measure the energy efficiency of a data center. PUE is calculated by dividing a data center’s total power consumption by the IT equipment’s power consumption alone. The resulting number represents the ratio of the total energy used by the data center to the energy used by the IT equipment. The lower the PUE, the more energy-efficient the data center is.

An example of how to calculate PUE:

Suppose you have a data center with a total power consumption of 1000 kW, and the IT equipment power consumption is 600 kW.

PUE = Total power consumption / IT equipment power consumption

PUE = 1000 kW / 600 kW

PUE = 1.67

In this example, the PUE of the data center is 1.67, which means that for every watt of power used by the IT equipment, 1.67 watts of power are consumed by the data center’s support systems, such as cooling, lighting, and power distribution. By tracking and optimizing PUE, data center operators can identify areas for improvement and implement energy-efficient solutions to reduce costs and improve sustainability.

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